Despite uncertainties bedevilling the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the 16-member regional bloc is encouraged to note that it continues to make progress towards consolidation of democratic ideals, including peace and stability.
It is saddening that the world continues to experience increasingly complex security challenges such as terrorism, human trafficking, illegal trade in wildlife and transnational organized crime, Lemogang Kwape, Botswana’s Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, said last week.
“Many of our countries continue to hold peaceful and credible elections, in accordance with their respective constitutional mandates, even during this difficult period of COVID-19 pandemic,” said Minister Kwape at a virtual meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation.
Minister Kwape said there had been worrying security threats of terrorism and violent extremism in the province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, and the volatile security situation in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri in the DRC, as well as the attendant humanitarian crises.
He said the humanitarian and displacement crisis in the eastern DRC had been further worsened by a devastating volcanic eruption on May 22 from Mount Nyiragongo, located near Goma, the capital of North Kivu Province. The eruption left more than 20,000 people homeless and many others dead, according to Kwape.
Minister Kwape said the Organ Troika has accorded serious attention to these challenges, which are a threat to peace and security in the region.
“We remain confident that through our continued collective efforts and meaningful dialogue, peace, unity and stability will ultimately prevail in these areas,” he said.
Last month, SADC launched a regional Humanitarian and Operations Emergency Centre (SHOC) in Mozambique, which is a regional initiative aimed at assisting member states affected by natural disasters and other emergencies. – Xinhua